1 big thing: Mail-voting mistakes could disqualify hundreds of thousands of ballots
About 1% of absentee ballots that were cast in the 2016 and 2018 elections were ultimately tossed, according to the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission.
- That could translate to hundreds of thousands of uncounted ballots this year — enough to potentially change the outcome of the presidential race, Stef Kight writes.
Why it matters: President Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by fewer than 23,000 votes — less than the number that were rejected in the state's presidential primary this year.
Here are the leading reasons ballots are typically rejected:
1. Missed deadlines: Around a quarter of rejected absentee ballots in 2016 and 2018 were due to ballots arriving too late.
- Most states offer online ballot tracking. Click our interactive map (here) to find how you can track your ballot.
2. Forgetting to sign: 20% of rejected ballots in 2016 and 13% in 2018 were missing the voter's signature.
3. Non-matching signature: Some states compare voters' signatures on absentee ballots to the signatures provided on their registration paperwork as a way to verify their identity, according to Jack Noland, research manager at RepresentUs.
- Some states will compare to other signatures they have on record.
4. No witness signature: Some states also require a notary or one or two witnesses to sign an absentee ballot for it to be counted.
5. Other: Voters not being registered or eligible to vote; a ballot missing an important document such as an affidavit or inner envelope; the voter not completing a document or clearly marking choices; or the voter already voted.
What to watch: Pennsylvania will automatically throw out any ballot that doesn't have a second, inner envelope (called a "secrecy envelope").
Between the lines: Voters in Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Indiana face some of the biggest obstacles because of the rules in those states, National Vote At Home Institute CEO Amber McReynolds told Axios.
Share this map.
- Ursula Perano contributed reporting.